Influence of temperature and high acetate concentrations on methanogenensis in lake sediment slurries

Methanogenesis from main methane precursors H2/CO2 and acetate was investigated in a temperature range of 2–70 °C using sediments from Lake Baldegg, Switzerland. Psychrophilic, psychrotrophic, mesophilic, and thermophilic methanogenic microbial communities were enriched by incubations for 1–3 months of nonamended sediment slurries at 5, 15, 30, and 50 °C. Isotope experiments with slurries amended with 14C-labeled bicarbonate and 14C-2-acetate showed that in the psychrophilic community (enriched at 5 °C), about 95% of methane originated from acetate, in contrast to the thermophilic community (50 °C) where up to 98% of methane was formed from bicarbonate. In the mesophilic community (30 °C), acetate was the precursor of about 80% of the methane produced. When the hydrogen–carbon dioxide mixture (H2/CO2) was used as a substrate, it was directly converted to methane under thermophilic conditions (70 and 50 °C). Under mesophilic conditions (30 °C), both pathways, hydrogenotrophic and acetoclastic, were observed. At low temperatures (5 and 15 °C), H2/CO2 was converted into methane by a two-step process; first acetate was formed, followed by methane production from acetate. When slurries were incubated at high partial pressures of H2/CO2, the high concentrations of acetate produced of more than 20 mM inhibited acetoclastic methanogenesis at a temperature below 15 °C. However, slow adaptation of the psychrophilic microbial community to high acetate concentrations was observed.

Published in:
FEMS Microbiology Ecology, 62, 336-344

 Record created 2010-04-14, last modified 2018-03-17

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